The NGOs of Fazilka have flayed the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) for carving out the proposed residential colony in eco-sensitive zone in the vicinity of Badha lake wetland area here.
Graduate Welfare Association, Fazilka (GWAF) and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sports club officer-bearers, in a meeting held at the Freedom Fighter Lala Sunam Rai MA Welfare Centre, appealed to the residents to come forward to save the wetland, which is an eco-sensitive and fragile zone.
Notably, PUDA had issued advertisements in different newspapers recently seeking applications for purchasing 56 plots in the proposed six acres of land colony near the SDM residence. The land was transferred by the Punjab Government in favour of PUDA in lieu of the construction of Mini-secretariat by PUDA in Fazilka during the previous Congress regime. GWAF patron Dr Bhupinder Singh, general secretary Navdeep Asija and Sports Club president Paramjit Singh Pamma Warer have expressed concern that hundreds of trees in the only lush green area of the town of the proposed colony would have to be axed for raising the new structures there.
In a letter addressed to KS Pannu, Chairman, Punjab Pollution Control Board, LS Pantra of National Green Tribunal, Ministry of Forest and Environment, Government of India, Deputy Commissioner, Ferozepur, KK Yadav, Asija alleged that the impact on the ecology of Fazilka has also not been addressed in the proposal.
Asija said the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) could have been done by the Punjab State Pollution Control Board for this colony as per the EIA notification in 2006.
The Association office-bearers have warned that if the proceedings of the proposed colony are not stalled, they would file a public interest litigation (PIL) in Punjab and Haryana High Court to refrain PUDA from carving out the proposed colony here, informed Dr Bhupinder Singh, patron, GWAF.
While talking to The Tribune, Superintending Engineer, PUDA, Bathinda, Paramjit Singh clarified that EID is mandatory for carving out colonies in 20 hectares of land only.
Singh said there would be no need to fell trees to carry out the construction as the park would be developed in the green area. However, the SE denied any violation of any law in the eco-fragile area.